Robert Earl Burton founded The Fellowship of Friends in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1970. Burton modeled his own group after that of Alex Horn, loosely borrowing from the Fourth Way teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. In recent years, the Fellowship has cast its net more broadly, embracing any spiritual tradition that includes (or can be interpreted to include) the notion of "presence."

The Fellowship of Friends exhibits the hallmarks of a "doomsday religious cult," wherein Burton exercises absolute authority, and demands loyalty and obedience. He warns that his is the only path to consciousness and eternal life. Invoking his gift of prophecy, he has over the years prepared his flock for great calamities (e.g. a depression in 1984, the fall of California in 1998, nuclear holocaust in 2006, and most recently the October 2018 "Fall of California Redux.")

According to Burton, Armageddon still looms in our future and when it finally arrives, non-believers shall perish while, through the direct intervention and guidance from 44 angels (recently expanded to 81 angels, including himself and his divine father, Leonardo da Vinci), Burton and his followers shall be spared, founding a new and more perfect civilization. Read more about the blog.

Presented in a reverse chronology, the Fellowship's history may be navigated via the "Blog Archive" located in the sidebar below.

Wednesday, December 1, 1999

Food for the moon

[ed. - This post is placed in the timeline (very) approximately where the event described took place. According to Burton (and, apparently according to Gurdjieff before him), the souls or magnetic fields of humans who are not working on themselves (all those not part of the Fellowship) upon death pass on to nourish the moon, which is a living, "evolving" body.]

"Renald" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, June 3, 2011:
41-38 “I regret that I did not ask enough questions.”

Now that would have hastened things a bit.

I was at the meeting where Elena asked a question to Linda Whatshername [Linda Kaplan] as was told that it was not the proper place to ask that question (..about what to do about being robbed by other students.) When Ames interjected that he was interested in the answer he got the boot.

When Gerda [Renald's partner] innocently asked Burton how he saw the idea of being food for the moon she got the boot for a year and was not allowed to speak to other students and to get out of Oregon House within a week. I am sure there are hundreds of other examples.

"Ron aka Renald" [Same as above] wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, September 6, 2015:

@114-Leaf- At the turn of the millennium my partner Gerda was banned from Apollo for one year and condemned to not speak to students for that time as well. I would be permitted to leave with her if I so wished, I was informed that I could accompany her. Her sin?

She dared to question Burton at an Academy dinner about what he meant by the ¨ Food for the moon ¨ idea. Here deafness in one ear, if not both, was implied as the reason for not answering and the result was the early morning telephone call announcing her banishment. So from the small picture perspective that was pretty awful. However from the larger perspective, looking back at the last 15 years, it was a genius move which superbly facilitated her future joyous manifestations. It could not have been better planned consciously or not.

"nevasayneva" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, December 23, 2015:

Thanks for responses as per anyone who actually piped up at a meeting/formal event. I saw only one occasion myself where someone piped up or disrupted the flow of a formal teaching event and that has been already very well described by Renald B [above] in these pages. That was when Gerda decided that she was going to paddle her canoe directly against the current quite towards the beginning of a teaching dinner. Must have been around 1998-1999. REB was able to shut her down, he told her she had “poison on her tongue”. Its amazing – It created such an energy that she had the cojones to try that it made an electric energy in the room- the main salon- for a few minutes. I remember it right now as if I was there, that few minutes >15 years ago. I guess I can thank Gerda for that. Now that I think of it, there were others as well, of somewhat smaller intensity.

Bread Upon the Water

[ed. - Guinevere Ruth-Mueller, formerly Helga Barth, has been a follower of Robert Earl Burton since January, 1971.]
(Cover with a bust of Robert Burton)

Bread Upon the Water is published.

G & G Publishers, 1999

ISBN 0967863708, 9780967863702

180 pages

"Josiane " wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, July 31, 2011:
26. Golden Veil and others.

In her book, Bread upon Water, G…v…re M…ller, a long-time and current FoF member tells of a conversation she had with Burton when she asked him why it was okay now for couples to have children (it must have been some time in the 80s) and his reply was: “Earlier we were building a School, now we are building a civilization.” She found that to be very profound. It’s important to note that G.M. had been one the women asked to give up her children in the early years of the school, which she did!!!

"Joe Average" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog,

In Guinevere’s book, “Bread Upon the Water” she recounts how, in the early days when Robert held open court with his students, each devotee wishing Robert’s darshan would be vetted first to see what their concern was. Robert would shunt all the students with “easy questions” about relationships to Guinevere and would take the “hard questions” about body type etc. himself. I can see that looking at someone’s shoe and saying “You have big feet. Work with Saturn. Next!” is lot more challenging and manly than dealing with some weepy female who is upset about being asked to get an abortion because Robert does not want any babies on the ark yet.

"Panorea" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, March 23, 2010:
Quoting from “Bread Upon the Water”, Guinevere Ruth-Mueller ISBN:0-9678637-0-8
When I joined the School, students were required to attend two meetings a week, and two additional meetings were optional. My home was an hour and a half from the meeting place, and I had two small children, 3 and 7 years of age, to consider. People did not yet know what to do with children, because it had not been an issue up till now. At first I was asked not to bring the children into the house, so I put them in the back seat of my VW bug, which made into a bed, and drove around the block until they fell asleep. I parked the car in the garage or in the driveway, and during the meeting I periodically went out to check on them. After the meeting, I would drive home and put them to bed. This became a routine that I repeated four times a week
The book is full of anecdotes like this. The writer ( a current member, a lovely lady, who has been though a lot) has documented the madness many of us went through in the Fellowship of Friends and how we managed to turn it into something “useful” for our “souls.” It is sad to go through some of the stories (the only book I have kept from my FOF period…). How many of us have felt not enough the way we were and needed to be told, to be mended…

And children… a waste product in the beginning of the FOF, a “third line octave” later and definitely a good way to keep the wives of Robert’s boys busy and exhausted….

"veramente" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, March 23, 2010:
Book title by Guinevere R. M. “Bread upon the water”

"An expression from the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament: “Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.”
This saying calls on people to believe that their good deeds will ultimately benefit them.

It is amazing that this mother of two children is naively recording what would be considered child neglect. But for Robert Burton “The Teacher” you do what you must do and gladly for your evolution.

It does not matter if he tramples on your humanity, that was just a price tag, giving up on the children eventually.

I sometimes feel pity for these people like Guinevere who became an instrument perpetuating Burton’s philosophy.

Bread upon water… in another place? another life?